My first year using Endomondo to track my mileage I had a Blackberry Bold (I don’t remember the number, it was the top of the line). For reasons unbeknown to me that app had some serious problems acquiring the satellite and tracking mileage. Some days it would take 3-5 minutes to acquire a signal and if I rushed that and started tracking time before the signal was solidly acquired, the software wouldn’t track anything but time. To say this was annoying is putting it mildly – and far too kindly. My wife has the same problem, though less frequently, with her Samsung Galaxy III.
In March I bought an iPhone 4s and all of the problems stopped. I haven’t had a tracking issue since. It isn’t without minor flaws, the mileage markers are off and my lap times are WAY off when they uploaded to the website from my century, though everything else (mileage, time etc) appear correctly. The GPS connectivity is instant (less than three seconds), the tracking is near perfect, and finally not one of the things I have to worry about as I’m heading out the door.
Another really cool feature available with Endomondo is the lack of the need of a cell signal to track a workout. As long as the phone can pick up a GPS satellite, you’re good (sat. signal strength shows prominently on the main screen). The app even stores the information until you’ve got a signal then uploads the info to the website when you open the app.
Now, battery usage can be a huge issue as well. Blackberry in hand, I went out last November with my buddy English Pete for a six hour ride and went through 2 batteries – I literally had to stop and switch out batteries halfway through and restart my phone and Endomondo. Last weekend I completed my century in a bit over five hours and went through less than 70% of the battery life. There is a trick to this extended battery life, and this works better for the iPhone than my old Blackberry by double… Keep the phone in “stand-by” mode while you’re tracking to conserve power.
Eventually I will pick up a backup charger, whether it’s solar or battery powered I haven’t decided yet, but my desire is to be able to get 10 hours of tracking with the screen on so I can follow roads on the map as I go. Either way, 5 hours of tracking on 70% of one charge is excellent in my experience.
There isn’t much in this world that works perfectly, especially when you’re looking at computer technology, but Endomondo and the iPhone work together about as seamlessly as can be hoped for.